SANCTUARY

Oneta 84

Most of you know I’m pretty “churchy,” and I am quite traditional about it. After a reading of Psalms 26 and 27, I am again reminded of how delighted I am to be able to go to the “house of the Lord.”

Now my peeve. You expected one, huh? Does your “church” still have their worship experience in the sanctuary or has it become an auditorium? Remember signs pointing to the sanctuary or the sanctuary choir singing, or a sanctuary Sunday School class.? The Bible refers to sanctuary over 250 times. I especially like 1 Chron. 28:10, David’s words to Solomon, “…for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary.” Sanctuary = refuge, shelter, place of safety.

Actually the Bible does refer to auditorium one time (Acts 25:23) where Festus, Agrippa, Bernice, and military officers brought Paul, more or less to call him on the carpet. Auditorium = lecture theater.

Am I dwelling in minutia? Does it matter? It must. Else wise, why the change?

Sometimes blessed things happen in an auditorium. We had my daddy’s funeral in the school auditorium because our church sanctuary would not hold the expected audience. It was needed; however, I still remember it as big and cold.

I hope to be memorialized in a sanctuary not an auditorium. Other word changes that are interesting:  memorial rather than funeral; worship experience rather than service; small group events rather than classes.

But I believe these word changes distance us from the holiness of God’s hour.  Time will change that; perhaps it already has.  I guess it is easier to sell books and drink coffee in an auditorium than a sanctuary.  And “sanctuary” beacons one to kneel at the altar or at his seat when entering.  Easier to talk in an auditorium.

If I don’t close this my head may soon be on a platter rather than my having it on straight!  

  

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MY NEW ACCESSORY

Oneta wo accessory

I have a new accessory;

They say it’s a necessity.

I wish it were a bracelet or a purse.

I guess it could be something worse.

But I don’t like it, not one little bit.

I prefer music and puppies or even English lit.

Lots of variety in life I love.

Kitties and kites, and ducks and doves.

I love Jesus and people, and country and kings

Necklaces, shoes, baby goats, and rings.

BUT a plastic tube with two “pokkies”up my nose?

Supposed to make it easier to send blood to my toes!

My kids act like I have no voice,

Saying, “You’re gonna do it.  You have no choice.

And much as I nag, kick, and seethe,

I really do like to breathe.

So I asked the doctor, “Do I really have to?”

She said, “No, but you’ll live longer if you do.”

So as much as I hear the joys of Heaven beckon

I’ll choose to stay here a bit longer, I reckon.

 

Oneta w accessory

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“I’LL LOOK AFTER HER”

letter to Pete by Sam      How about that three cent stamp!  This was the letter Sammy wrote my parents in 1953.

Letterhead was Southwestern Bible College in Oklahoma City.  Dated April 10, 1953:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers,

          Oneta and I are settling down once again to school routine, and everything here at the City is just fine.

          I enjoyed the short stay and sweet fellowship at your home Easter.  

          You have a beautiful daughter, Mr. Rodgers.  She is the sweetest girl in the world.  I don’t see how I have lived this far without her and I love her with all my heart, to the extent that I have asked her to marry me.  She has said Yes, but I would like to have your consent also. Of course it will be some time yet before we are able to get married as I have certain obligations to fulfill and straighten out first.  I promise you I will always look after Oneta and make her happy and love her as Christ loved the church.  Pray for me and write soon. 

Yours truly,  Samuel Hayes

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wedding 3

Married July 5, 1953.

                                      MY VALENTINE 

 

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ANSWERED PRAYER?

icy patio

I thought I was humoring kids when we prayed for their pets, until one morning …..

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I glanced out the icy window,  I must find Buttons.   I had looked until it got too dark.    He’ll be so cold.  I bundled for the cold car.

Headed out, but what direction?  Feeling a bit foolish, I prayed “God help me.”  I turned west, then north, then east— a woman was opening her garage door.

“Have you seen a puppy?”  I called.

“A little brown and black shih tzu?  We put him in the yard last night to keep him safe.”

Answered prayer?  Coincidence?

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(True story about the lost and found puppy, except the day wasn’t icy.   I have learned one can pray for their pet.  Amazingly God sometimes answers in awesome ways. :D)

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PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS –  100 word story from picture prompt hosted by https://rochellewisoff.com/

 

 

 

 

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GIVING BIRTH TO THE WIND

wind

Isaiah 26: This chapter includes scriptures most church goers have heard over and over, V. 3, 7, 9. However, I have never heard Verse 18 commented on, “We were with child; we writhed in pain, but we gave birth to the wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth; we have not given birth to people of the world.”

Two possible scenarios. I have befriended two people for quite some time. Finally each goes to church with me.

Church Y: Person A is with me. We have a roaring good time with praise and worship. My friend stands respectfully, tries to look pleasant, and decides we have a mighty nice bunch of people. We seem to love God and to not have oodles of problems. The preacher acknowledges that we have problems but we are “one-in-love” working them out. Person A holds up her hand that she would like to be a Christian, have her sins forgiven and be back next week.


Church Z: Person B is with me. We sing I Love to Tell the Story, The Way of the Cross Leads Home, Such Love, and Grace Greater Than Our Sin. Preacher preaches that you become a new creature upon accepting Jesus, old things have passed away and all things become new. A church friend gives her a hug and asks her to come back. She goes away, saying she needs more time. Time to decide if she really wants old things to pass away…

 

I have a feeling Person A has no idea of what being a Christian means. Is she only being deceived? I really feel for Person B, but I don’t know how to “close the sale?”  I don’t know how to bring her to birth.

Too many churches are giving birth to the wind.  We know the truth but do not know how to seal the deal.

 

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IMPENETRABLE

six word

 

Closed mind is dark as night.

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Challenge was to use “night” as a prompt for six word story.

Shweta does an excellent job keeping us together.  Please join the fun.  Instructions and rules are at https://thesoulsearchersite.wordpress.com/saturday-6wsp/

 

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YOUR FACE, LORD, WILL I SEEK

scripture

 

Being a follower of Christ is wonderful.  Having your sins forgiven is amazing.  Experiencing the grace which gives you eternal life is abundantly satisfying.

But knowing God entails more than a Sunday Morning Hour.

God tells us repeatedly to seek him.

So I suggest the following steps to “find” Him.

MAKE A CHOICE: Psalm 27;8-9;

PREPARE YOUR HEART: II Chron. 19:3;

GIVE HIM PRIORITY: Prov. 8:17;

FORSAKE SIN: Psalm 119:2-5;

BE “WITH” HIM: II Chron. 15:2;

HAVE FAITH: Heb. 11:6;

PERSEVERE: Heb. 11:6;

CULTIVATE HUMILITY: Psalm 69:32 (poor);  Dan. 9:3 (sackcloth and ashes)

PERSIST CONTINUALLY: I Chron. 16:11;

RENDER SERVICE: I Chron. 28:9;

REJOICE: I Chron. 16:10;

SEEK WITH ALL YOUR HEART: Deut. 4:29;

LIVE HOLY/RIGHTEOUS: Hos. 10:12;

PRAY: Dan. 9:3a;

FAST: Dan. 9:3b

TRY AND SEE, THE LORD IS GOOD.  BEHOLDING THE FACE OF GOD IS BEYOND UNDERSTANDING.

 

 

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CHANTAY

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Claire checked the note again.  Number four from bottom on right. Long hair.  Her name is Chantay.

Holding back tears, Claire smiled.  The parents had kept the name Claire had given the two-hour-old baby with Claire’s DNA.  The baby had a lusty but tender cry.

Claire remembered making a note on the back of the legal papers,  “Please name the baby Chantay.  It means singer.  May her life be a song to you.”

A smile marked Claire’s pleasure as she slipped into the auditorium and watched as Chantay’s choir group won the State Vocal Championship.

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https://rochellewisoff.com/

PHOTO PROMPT © Ulrika Undén

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PAYING TAXES/RECEIVING BENEFITS/AND OTHER MUSINGS

baby hat

HEY YOUNG FELLOW, YOU GOING TO BE ABLE TO PAY FOR YOUR GRANDMA AND YOU?

My first retirement (teacher’s) began 29 years ago; my second (social security) about 25 years ago.  I remember when I had to start paying SS taxes (FICA)  I complained.  I think it was about $8-10 a month.  Now a person receiving $30,000 must have to pay about $200 a month – something like that.    I made no other plans for retirement income.

I have friends who do not see “social security” as a benefit from the government.  They can tell how the money they paid, could have resulted in so much more if they had invested in other ways.  Probably so.  Nothing that goes through government control comes out with much efficiency.  I think it would be smart in the future to allow workers to make a choice about how they want their retirement money to be invested – in the government or in private funds.  Too late now for me, but I am doing okay.  I have good insurance for which I’m thankful.

Being on the tax payers dollar has given me the gumption to prove I’m worthy of the labor of thirty-year-olds who are having to put some of what they need, into such things as keeping me fed and alive. Thanks kids! And thanks to CEOs also – keep those citizens in worth-while and satisfying jobs!

During these retirement years I have tried to use my talents in some way that would give back to my country, my church, and my family to prove I’m worth my draw at the trough.  😀  One pastor even told the congregation that I was hired because I would work for less because I had retirement income.  Now that will make one’s day!  Fortunately my sense of humor caught hold.  I did enjoy the job.

I found joy in my jobs.  Idleness does not sound good to me.   I believe I will be a teacher when I get to heaven.  And a student also.  Imagine having the time and resources to take a field trip to the Florida Everglades or go for a rock hunt on the moon.

The stimulus for these thoughts today was Psalm 128:2 “you will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.”  Eat the fruit of my labor?  That means I will not have to beg for my bread; I can work for it.  I like that.

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LET US PRAY

Oneta 84

This morning  I decided that instead of my regular Bible reading, I would check my e-mail to see if a blogger had something particularly inspirational to say to me.  I opened my e-mail on the kindle and there first was Julie aka Cookie’s post.  Good post.  But I particularly want to draw you attention to the prayer at the end.  Let us pray:

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our
heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove
ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will.
Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and
pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion;
from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend
our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes
brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue
with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust
the authority of government, that there may be justice and
peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we
may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth.
In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness,
and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail;
all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer

For those who have questions about how Jesus speaks to us, I offer this as an example of his divine will and how the Holy Spirit works in a Christian.  Why did I decide to read a blogger instead of a Bible passage?  I have never done such a thing before.  Why was Julie’s blog the top e-mail (except for ads, etc)?  Why did I decide to pass this on?  Most of you know it is because the Lord calls us to intercede for our nation, our president, our lawmakers.

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